Whore's Glory Directed by: Michael Glawogger Running Time: 1 hr 55 mins Rating: Not Rated Showtimes at PIFF: Thursday 2/23 8:15PM at Cinema 21 Complete PIFF Schedule
PLOT: This hands off documentary follows prostitutes and johns in Thailand, Bangladesh and Mexico.
WHO'S IT FOR? Anyone who has wondered about the secret lives of prostitutes, and what kind of men visit them.
Austrian filmmaker Glawogger has made a series of documentaries about globalization. This, his third, looks at its effect on prostitution in developing countries. Prostitutes in three countries are interviewed, along with their johns, about the industry. The brothel in Thailand has women sitting behind a wall of glass, looking like fish in an aquarium. They smile and try to look flirty while johns speak to a barker in the other room who talks them up. We get to hear conversations on both sides, the women talk about who will get picked, and which man they want, while the men discuss the various merits of the women. This section also features the most foreigners, likely sex tourists. In Bangladesh, some of the prostitutes look really young. One girl who looks about 15 at the oldest is sold to a madam. When asked how long she's been a prostitute, she replies six years. The world of these women looks so dark, they seem completely unable to see a life outside of the ones they're living.
The last segment of the film takes place in Mexico, which for some reason is the most disturbing. Possibly because the johns the filmmakers speaks to are just so ugly in the way they talk about prostitutes. One woman, a crack addict and member of the Santa Muerte cult seems particularly fatalistic. The desperation in all these communities is harsh. Many women don't seem to see a life for their children outside of growing up to become prostitutes, something that seems ridiculous in the modern world. The observational style of the film can be frustrating, the movie offers no answers about how these women's lives can be helped. But the stories told are fascinating.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10